In this book, one of the foremost sociologists of the present day, turns his gaze upon the key figures and seminal institutions in the rise of sociology. Turner examines the work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Karl Mannheim, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons to produce a rich and authoritative perspective on the classical tradition. He argues that classical sociology has developed on many fronts, including debates on the family, religion, the city, social stratification, generations and citizenship. The book defends classical perspectives as a living tradition for understanding contemporary social life and demonstrates how the classical tradition produces an agenda for contemporary sociology.
Chapter 12: The Sociology of Social Stratification
The Sociology of Social Stratification
In the twentieth century, the sociological analysis of social class, and more broadly the study of social stratification, became a basic and defining characteristic of the sociological curriculum and a major focus of empirical research. In the universities, sociology as a discipline developed in part as a contribution to the analysis of the negative functions and consequences of social inequality in industrial capitalism, where social inequality was seen to stem largely from economic inequality and ultimately therefore from the location of individuals and families within the class structure of industrial capitalism. Sociology attempted to provide answers to the question, how does economic class difference function in a welfare-capitalist system?
Although the study of social class came, as ...